In the mythical town of Winesburg, Indiana, there lives a cleaning lady who can conjure up the ghost of Billy Sunday, a lascivious holy man with an unusual fetish and a burgeoning flock, a park custodian who collects the scat left by aliens, and a night janitor learning to live with life’s mysteries, including the zombies in the cafeteria. Winesburg, Indiana, is a town full of stories of plans made and destroyed, of births and unexpected deaths, of remembered pasts and unexplored presents told to the reader by as interesting a cast of characters as one is likely to find in small town America. Brought to life by a lively group of Indiana writers, Winesburg, Indiana, is a place to discover something of what it means to be alive in our hyperactive century from stories that are deeply human, sometimes melancholy, and often damned funny.
“In the mythical town of Winesburg, Indiana, there lives a cleaning lady who can conjure up the ghost of Billy Sunday, a lascivious holy man with an unusual fetish and a burgeoning flock, a park custodian who collects the scat left by aliens, and a night janitor learning to live with life’s mysteries, including the zombies in the cafeteria...”
“Thirty writers create the characters in what Martone calls 'a sad town populated by people who have desperate, writeable lives.' Some of them are terse. Some, like Roxane Gay’s 'Tara Jenkins,' are beautiful.”
— Indianapolis Monthly
“This book is funny as hell, and beneath its humor are contemporary grotesques who deepen our understanding of the human condition, making us look unflinchingly at the darker side of human nature and human loneliness, that universally felt alienation common to isolated, repressed Midwestern towns and therefore to almost any small town anywhere in the world.”
— Lex Williford, author of Macauley's Thumb
“The concept behind Winesburg, Indiana seems almost impossible to pull off: asking an all-star roster of small and major press writers to contribute work to a fabulist linked story collection. . . .The collection makes the argument that Indiana—not to mention the greater Midwest—is more than just flyover country.”
— Salvatore Pane, author of Last Call in the City of Bridges
“You may be able to fly over Winesburg, Indiana, but more challenged to take it at ground level, where the Fork River cuts like a knife through the flat terrain. You may find that Winesburg, once discovered, is not easy to leave. A host of characters give voice to their wildest dreams, their dreariest defeats, their sweetest triumphs. The voices of forty denizens hold you in their home town, page after page.”
— Jan Maher, author of Heaven, Indiana
“'Virginal' reconstructions, alien scat collectors, manchildren and toenail-eating reverends. Winesburg, Indiana reads like a lung--it expands and holds the big emotions of its many lives; each exhale is an inhabitant, inhabiting. It exists. It will continue to exist, cease and desist demand be damned.”
— Zach Tyler Vickers, author of Congratulations on Your Martyrdom!
“Michael Martone, Bryan Furness, and their team of cartographers have taken their pens and knives to the town of Winesburg, Indiana to map out the varieties of human experience lived on the Fork River. They have succeeded in drawing a new prime meridian by which we may chart our joys and sorrows in these short fictions—plotting the intersections of trains and post office murals, cats and young lovers, faith healers and former high school football stars—finally discovering our own selves counted among the townspeople.”
— Colin Rafferty, author of Hallow This Ground
“Winesburg, Indiana may, or may not, speak with a forked tongue, or, at least, a tongue planted firmly in a cheek, but this compelling compendium also accomplishes the necessary task of surprising readers with an alternate Indiana. Here you will find thirty of Indiana’s most articulate observers and writers full of sass and humor as they take on a host of contemporary stereotypes, spinning them on their heads and leaving any reader dizzy with admiration.”
— William O’Rourke, author of Confessions of a Guilty Freelancer
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Table of Contents
Michael Martone, Susan Neville, BJ Hollars, CJ Hribal, Barbara Bean, Kate Bernheimer, Lee Martin, Porter Shreve, Robin Black, Karen Brennan, Brian Buckbee, Shannon Cain, Sherrie Flick, Bryan Furuness, Roxane Gay, Andrew Hudgins, Sean Lovelace, Sam Martone, Erin McGraw, Joyelle McSweeney, Valerie Miner, Kelcey Parker, Ed Porter, Ethel Rohan, Valerie Sayers, Greg Schwipps, George Singleton, Deb Olin Unferth, Jim Walk and Claire Vaye Watkins.